The Accomack County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to conduct a public hearing on the subject of implementing a food and beverage tax collected on restaurant sales in the unincorporated areas of the county. The action could raise revenue to replace $241,000 in anticipated costs to cover the new state mandated rules governing the use of comp time to pay county employees. The act called the Virginia Overtime Wages Act was passed hastily by the General Assembly during the 2021 session and could cost Virginia’s Government entities Many millions to implement.
According to a report to the Board there are 68 businesses in the unincorporated areas of Accomack County. The towns of Onancock, Chincoteague, Parksley and Onley already impose meals taxes and the businesses there would not have any additional meals taxes imposed.
In Northampton County a 4% meals tax generated $329,000 in revenue in FY20. Margaret Lindsay Director of Finance estimates at lease $300,000 in annual revenue anticipated with a 5% meals tax.
The Board voted to take the matter to a public hearing with a 5% rate anticipated.
State statutes require a public hearing before implementing any new tax.
The meals tax has been on the radar in Accomack County for a while as an option for raising revenues if needed.